SHANGHAI, July 12 (Reuters) - Copper edged down on Thursday, dropping for a fifth session out of seven, as uncertainty the U.S. Federal Reserve would launch more stimulus measures soured market sentiment, with prices in tight ranges on caution before China's GDP data.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange inched down just 0.2 percent to $7,525 per tonne by 0153 GMT, after gaining 0.7 percent on Wednesday.
The most-active October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3 percent to 54,990 yuan ($8,600) per tonne.
China will release its GDP figures on Friday, which are expected to be the weakest since the three months to March 2009 during the global financial crisis but may raise chances of Beijing further easing its monetary policy.
Sluggish demand from top consumer China, as evidenced by a double-digit fall in Chinese copper imports last month, have kept copper under pressure, with prices down 14 percent from this year's peak of $8,765 reached in February.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is open to buying more Treasury bonds to stimulate the economy, but the recovery might need to weaken for a consensus to build, minutes from the central bank's June meeting released on Wednesday showed.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble said on Wednesday he hoped Germany's Constitutional Court would pass judgment on the EU's bailout fund and fiscal pact before autumn, suggesting he expects the decision to take months rather than weeks.
Recession-plagued Spain unveiled new austerity measures on Wednesday designed to slash 65 billion euros from the public deficit by 2014 as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy yielded to EU pressure to try to avoid a full state bailout.
Brazil cut its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 8 percent on Wednesday as policymakers scramble to revive an economy that has failed for nearly a year to respond to a barrage of stimulus measures.
Asian shares barely budged on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve appeared to put off taking more aggressive stimulus steps until economic conditions worsen, offering investors few reasons to take risks with second-quarter earnings painting a globally gloomy picture.
The dollar stood close to a one-year high against a basket of major currencies on Thursday in Asia, having pushed the euro to a two-year low after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting showed more monetary easing was not on the cards for now.
0530 India Industrial Output yy Jul
0900 EZ Industrial production yy May
1230 U.S. Jobless claims Weekly
1230 U.S. Export prices Jun
1230 U.S. Import prices Jun
1800 U.S. Federal budget Jun
Base metals prices at 0153 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 7525.00 -14.00 -0.19 -0.99
SHFE CU FUT OCT2 54990 -160 -0.29 -1.15
LME Alum 1899.00 -2.00 -0.11 -5.99
SHFE AL FUT OCT2 15470 -35 -0.23 -2.34
HG COPPER SEP2 341.40 -3.35 -0.97 -0.64
LME Zinc 1838.00 -14.00 -0.76 -0.38
SHFE ZN FUT OCT2 14590 -65 -0.44 -1.39
LME Nickel 16120.00 20.00 +0.12 -13.84
LME Lead 1863.00 -5.00 -0.27 -8.45
SHFE PB FUT 14815 -55 -0.37 -3.11
LME Tin 18751.00 -99.00 -0.53 -2.34
LME/Shanghai arb 1103
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 6.3686 Chinese yuan)